Flocking to the Turkey Trot

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EChO event reaps abundant participation

By Sandy Barnes

Frisky dogs jogged beside their owners during the annual Turkey Trot in Evergreen on Thanksgiving morning.


“We may have to call it a dog trot,” joked Liz Hawkins, who initiated the event for Evergreen Christian Outreach three years ago. 

More than 300 people participated in the course, which offered 3 miles of brisk exercise, before their Thanksgiving feasts.

The route began in the parking lot of the Church of the Transfiguration, continued through downtown Evergreen, circled Evergreen Lake and then headed back to Douglas Hall.

First-place winner in the event was Brandy Erholtz, who completed the course in less than 19 minutes. She received a pie as her reward, as did others who placed in the event.

“I’m more of a mountain trail runner,” she said. “But I’d rather support something local. It’s a good way to start the morning.”

Erholtz coached a cross-country team at Evergreen High School this past season and works as a prevention liaison in the Jefferson County drug and alcohol program. 

College students Andy Olson and Matt Sharber also were among participants.

Many families joined in the fun, including the Rothgebs, who were all wearing colorful turkey headgear. The best-costume award went to Maggie Franquemont.

Among the canine contestants was 11-month-old chocolate lab Godiva, who trotted along with owner Tara Spiegel. However, the fastest dog in the event was Amelia, led by Thomas Kling.

While approximately $2,000 was raised and more than 200 pounds of food was donated Thanksgiving morning, Hawkins said the event is not an official fund-raiser for the organization.

“We’re just trying to get people aware of EChO,” said Hawkins.


Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.


Turkey Trot winners


• Overall winner: Brandy Erholtz

• Age group winners

1 to 10: Rachel Stup  and Jared Blankenship 

11 to 20: Caitlin Schmitt , Harrison Oliveri and Matt Shorber  — tied

21 to 30: Brandy Erholtz  and Chris Murray 

31 to 40: Amy Hoseth  and Charlie Scripps 

41 to 50: Philippa Flaherty and Les Sweeney

50-plus: Lisa Dugger and Dave Masters